Avis, James (2013) The politics of cognitive capitalism - beyond workplace learning. In: 8th International Conference: Researching Work and Learning, June 2013, 19-21st June 2013, University of Stirling. (Unpublished)

This exploratory paper considers the significance of theorisations of cognitive capitalism for conceptualisations of workplace learning. The paper examines analyses of workplace learning that seek to validate the knowledge and skills developed therein and aligns this to a politics of social justice. This concern is focused upon those worker whose labour has tended to be devalued and accorded low status and attempts to value and dignify such work. The second part of the paper considers the relevance and contribution of analyses surrounding constructions of cognitive capitalism to this debate. In this instance the analysis questions the salience of the earlier discussion, suggesting that its social justice claims are at best problematic, if not seriously flawed set as it is within the hegemony of capitalism. Whilst theorisations of cognitive capitalism may be limited they nevertheless raise important questions that problematise approaches towards WPL that seek to align this with progressive politics and social justice commitments.

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